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Access to care, cancer prevention, cancer screening, colon cancer prevention, colorectal cancer, health disparities, health policy, Medicaid expansion



  1. Morrow, Linda DNP, MSN, MBA, NE-BC, CPHQ, CNOR, RN (Program Director, Nursing Management and Executive Leadership, Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing)


ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer deaths for men and women, combined, even though it is the most preventable, treatable, and beatable cancer. Polyp removal during colonoscopy is one major way to help prevent CRC, but it can also be prevented by modifiable risk factor reduction. The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable's campaign "80% in Every Community" is an effort to address disparities in the less-screened populations and communities. The nurse practitioner (NP) can assist health care organizations to develop policies for high-quality screening programs and create system changes to promote CRC prevention and screening. Professional organizations provide an easy way to become involved in policy change at the health system, local, state, and federal levels. State and federal policies affect patient access to care and adherence to the CRC prevention and screening recommendations. Fourteen states have not yet elected to expand Medicaid. Every NP has the knowledge, skills, and ability to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid in these remaining states to reduce this access to care barrier for underserved patients and communities.